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The Neighborhood Leadership Academy connects resources at the University – Creating Whole Communities and University of Missouri Extension – with neighborhood leaders from across the state of Missouri to learn together through a hybrid project-based curriculum, developing the skills and building the networks necessary to create healthy, vibrant and whole communities.

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) provides in-depth and multifaceted leadership training that emphasizes community building principles and strategies, project planning, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills.

Photo of a group of adults attending the University of Missouri Extension's Neighborhood Leadership Academy.In Fall 2022, Neighborhood Leadership Academy hosted two cohorts, one in-person and one virtual, in order to accommodate different learning styles and allow for higher volume of participants. With both cohorts combined, there were 55 participants from the counties of St. Louis City, St. Louis, Greene, Phelps, Camden, Boone, Jackson County, Johnson, Texas County, Maries, Franklin, Jefferson, Dent, Worth, Osage and St. Clair (IL). Additionally, NLA awarded 39 scholarships, allowing individuals to participate in NLA at no cost and increasing access across the state for those looking to acquire skills and knowledge needed to bring positive change in their communities.

2022 NLA graduates shared the following feedback:

  •  “The overall knowledge that I have gained through this course has been amazing. From how to engage stakeholders in the community, to planning events and hosting meetings, these are all tools that I will fully utilize going forward. The Clifton Strengths evaluation is an invaluable tool I will use in my neighborhood planning efforts, but also my personal life, namely in being more aware of my particular strengths in my workplace and how those strengths can serve me well there.”
  • “Everyone and everything was so amazing. You guys were so phenomenal, fantastic, kind and sincere. Everything learned can be utilized going forward for other community projects/engagement.”
  •  “I will share that the program might be one of the best kept secrets when it comes to individuals such as myself who may be wanting to engage but don’t know how or where to start.”

More information about NLA can be found here:

Read more Community Development Extension Impact Stories.